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Old 04-05-2008, 06:04 PM   #1
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Default Need advice on a belt sander. hand

Hi guys. I got my new bandsaw yesterday. mmm sweat. got the Grizzly. G055. with fence, and got the resaw fence also.
NOw I need advice on a belt sander. hand machine. I am looking at the Porter-Cables. 3"x24", and the Dewalt dw433--3"x21". and the Bosh 3"x21", and the craftmon. whicth kind do you guys use. and they all cost up the ya, ya. so I wont to get a good one. I think I like the porter-cables. but dang they are heavy. is that a good thing?? since they will be on the wood while sanding..orr what do you think. I am using a nice craftsmon now. and it does the job. but I seem to have to push some. but maybe thats just me. thanks in advance for your replys. your friend Evie
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:02 PM   #2
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Porter-Cable is a good choice a little bit spendy/heavier. Are there displays so you can see how they feel weight wise. I have a refurbished Skill brand that I have had for years. Does the job. Depends on how much you want to spend.
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:18 PM   #3
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I have the small Porter Cable with the 21/2 x 14 inch belt. I like it a lot. Here is a link: Porter-Cable 371K Compact Belt Sander - Woodcraft.com
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:18 PM   #4
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Evie,
I have the Delta Bench top belt sander, is that what you are looking for or a hand held model? I had a Craftsmen hand held that my Dad bought 40 years ago but it stopped working and they would not fix it. Of course 40 years or so for a power tool is pretty good.
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:52 PM   #5
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I have a junk sears one. I never use it. Can't even give it away in good conscience. Soon as belt warms up it looses it's tracking, not that it matters, because belt sanders that are hand held are too aggressive for normal woodworking. If you want to power sand with a hand held tool and have control over what you are doing without creating grooves and waves, you are better off with a random orbital sander. A hand held belt sander is really geared towards construction work. Orbital sanders are for fine woodworking.

Now if that changed your tune, your going to find random orbit sanders in good quality are cheaper than belt sanders of good quality. Porter cable is an excellent choice, makita is nice, my ryobi seems to do a pretty good job. There's two choices in style for paper, stickit and PSA. PSA is better, but generally that's an upgrade feature you install after the fact and some sanders are not elligable. PSA is adhesive backed. Stickit works fine as long as you pay attention to not tear your sandpaper and keep on sanding...if you do, then you burn the clingy things on the tool and your paper will no longer cling. With PSA, you don't have that problem.

Porter cable is probably the best choice, and not even the most expensive for Random orbits. Several models to choose from. Great dust collection systems. They all can be upgraded to PSA, although they can be purchased in that mode as well. Porter cable also offers an assortment of accessory pads. Soft pads follow contours better, harder pads are better for keeping flat surfaces. It's a matter of budget and comfort. I prefer the models where you hold on the top of the motor. Some prefer where you have a handle on the back and hold on to the front of the motor too.

One more thing..a random orbit gets in closer to corners than a belt sander does. So much lighter in weight to deal with too.
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:08 PM   #6
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i have mostly porter cables they last, trac very good, drop em and break the frame parts are easy to get. if you run over the cord, usually get it out with out major surgery. most of my hand tools are porter cable, then milwaukee, then dewalt. then makita. i have more broken dewalts than all others combined doug
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:40 AM   #7
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........... A hand held belt sander is really geared towards construction work. Orbital sanders are for fine woodworking................................ I agree 100% I have any tool I want and I do not own a hand held belt sander. I have a 4x24 bench sander though and an orbital sander.
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:25 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, that answers lot a quistions. and Jeff you are a dictionary of impho. wow. the one thing I wont a hand belt sander is. when I resaw wood. and glue, and joint it together. it has lots of sanding left to do. try to keep it from warping. but there is still the joint to get smooth. the hand held belt sander makes short work of that. I am used to runing it along the grain. and moving it so as not to creat a grove. I think I will get the porter CAble. that sounds like what I wont. I was worryed about the weight. but now not. I do have a orbital sander, dewalt. and love it. but it takes so long to do the finish. I also use a belt sander to do other things. so thanks. and I have my answer. your friend Evie... Big $$$ for this little babby. who cairs. you only live onece. and woodworking is all I cair about. well not all . but alot. thanks. your friend Evie again.
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:25 PM   #9
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I have a Porter Cable belt sander. It is variable speed and a good piece of equipment but it is more for carpentry work than fine woodworking. It is rather aggressive and you can sand something down in a hurry. An orbital sander is more user friendly, less aggressive, and may be better at dust control. Just my $.02.
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:33 PM   #10
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Hay Chris. thanks for the link. gosh your sander is a monster. you say it is 21/2x14. wow. now thats a meat eater. just up my ally. your friend Evie. and thanks who says gales can't have fun making saw dust.
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